Plans for luxury Hayling Island homes still prove to be controversial

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THE organisation which protects Chichester Harbour says it is still not happy with plans to redevelop a disused boat yard.

Yachthaven, off Copse Lane, Northney, in Hayling Island, has been empty for many years and is considered an eyesore by some people.

Now developer Yachthaven Limited wants to clear the 6.4 hectares of run-down buildings and industrial waste and build six luxury homes, a 12-berth pontoon and boat storage for the charity Even Keel.

It will also improve public footpaths.

Plans it has submitted to Havant Borough Council will be decided within the next few weeks.

But John Holmes, the planning officer for Chichester Harbour Conservancy, said it is not happy.

Mr Holmes said: ‘We have recommended the council refuse the application because we have concerns about the change of use to housing.

‘We would like to see it used for employment given its existing use, albeit abandoned – marine employment particularly.

‘There are also concerns about the scale of the proposed houses and inappropriate design. We are worried it will have a detrimental impact on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

‘Certainly there is potential it to be developed but it has to be the right sort of development.’

Mr Holmes said he would like to see it marketed as an employment site before housing is considered.

The boatyard was built in 1933. The main boat building shed burnt down in the 1970s and was never replaced.

A spokesman for the developer said: ‘We are very disappointed with Chichester Harbour Conservancy’s statement, as the site lies outside the conservancy’s boundaries and hence its jurisdiction.

‘Its views are completely at odds with Natural England, which supports the restoration of the site as an ecological conservation area, and object to the continuation of the boatyard because of its impact on marine ecology.

‘The proposed family houses will support the costly restoration proposals, and be in keeping with the nearby houses along the coast.

‘We have consulted widely with local people, who support the concept of houses in preference to a boatyard.

‘We believe the proposals represent a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate this long-neglected site.’